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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 — Houston, TX

Midterm recess activities worth driving for

courtesy-robert-heeter-big-bend
Robert Heeter / Thresher

By Sarah Bartos     10/4/22 11:58pm

After a long first few weeks of classes, students get the upcoming fall break to relax and rewind before getting back into the swing of things. If you want to go beyond the hedges this fall break after crushing your papers and exams, here are a few spots within driving distance from Rice to explore during fall break. 

Canyon Lake 

Just three hours northwest of campus lies Canyon Lake, a beautiful oasis in the Texas Hill Country. Located on the Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake’s hiking trails and water recreation make it a great place to enjoy swimming, hiking, biking and golfing. The area has many available Airbnbs and lodges; or, if you are a fan of camping, Canyon Lake offers camping sites within its park’s 485 acres. 



Hot Springs, Arkansas 

Sometimes a long drive is worth it. While it is around seven hours driving distance away from Rice, Hot Springs, Arkansas is a hotspot for all things vacation. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Ouachita Mountains, shop in the historic downtown area or relax in what the city is named after: its natural hot springs. 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Home of world-famous beignets, unique architecture and rich history, New Orleans, Louisiana is around a six-hour drive from campus. Explore the French Quarter, order a “Sazerac” cocktail at the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel art deco bar or experience the historic streetcar system. Horror fans can visit the tomb of Marie Laveau, a famous voodoo priestess, or the LaLaurie Mansion that was featured in the television series  “American Horror Story: Coven.”

Fredericksburg, Texas 

Fredericksburg lies right in the heart of Texas, a four hour drive from Rice’s campus. Initially formed by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, this town boasts a rich history. Explore Fredericksburg’s German history at the Pioneer Museum, go rock climbing at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area or pay a visit to the town’s various wineries. There are many local bed and breakfasts for visitors to stay in.

Big Bend National Park 

Big Bend National Park is a must-see for all nature lovers. Deep in West Texas, Big Bend boasts acres of campgrounds, hiking trails and spectacular views. The park is host to around 1,200 plant species and fossils dating from approximately 130 million years ago. Cool off by canoeing in the Rio Grande river or hiking Cattail Falls. Big Bend National Park is around a ten-hour drive from Rice, but its scenic beauty is worth the road trip. Remember, more driving in Texas means more Buc-ees stops. 



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